Wednesday, November 16, 2022

FDA Approves Omlonti (omidenepag isopropyl ophthalmic solution) for Reduction of Elevated Intraocular Pressure in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma or Ocular Hypertension



Santen Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Santen), and UBE Corporation (UBE)   announced   the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)   approval of Omlonti (omidenepag isopropyl ophthalmic solution) 0.002% eye drops for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The approval date was September 22.

Omlonti is developed jointly by Santen and UBE. Omidenepag isopropyl, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Omlonti, developed by UBE, is a relatively selective prostaglandin EP2 receptor agonist, which increases aqueous humor drainage through the conventional (or trabecular) and uveoscleral outflow pathways, and the only product with this pharmacological action. Omlonti was launched in Japan as Eybelis® ophthalmic solution 0.002% in November 2018, and was filed for marketing approval in Asian countries in stages. The product was released in five countries and regions beginning in February 2021.

“Glaucoma prevalence is increasing as the global population ages. Supporting patients by protecting vision across the continuum of clinical care in glaucoma is a significant aim for Santen to reduce the social and economic opportunity loss of people around the world caused by eye conditions,” explains Peter Sallstig, Chief Medical Officer of Santen. “This approval is an important milestone in our ambition to tackle unmet needs in eye health and advances our goal of realization of “Happiness with Vision”. It also represents our first glaucoma offering in the U.S. We are pleased to provide doctors and patients in the U.S. with a new option to help control IOP for the more than three million Americans affected by glaucoma1 or ocular hypertension.”

“UBE Corporation is committed to working on new drug discoveries on a daily basis with the aim of providing patients with more treatment options for diseases with high unmet needs," said Yoichi Funayama, Senior Executive Officer and General Manager of the Pharmaceutical Division, UBE Corporation. “We are very pleased that this ophthalmic solution has been approved for glaucoma in the U.S., following approvals in Japan and Asia. We have high expectations that omidenepag isopropyl will provide a new treatment option for more patients suffering from glaucoma and ocular hypertension through Santen.”

Omlonti was evaluated in three randomized and controlled clinical trials in subjects with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension with average baseline IOP of 24-26 mm Hg. The double-masked treatment duration was three months in all three studies. The third study included a 9-month open-label treatment period following the 3-month double-masked treatment period. In the three studies, IOP reductions were observed for all treatment arms. In the Omlonti arm, the reduction in IOP ranged from 5-7 mm Hg across all three studies. The corresponding reductions for the timolol and latanoprost arms were 5-7 mm Hg and 6-8 mm Hg, respectively.

Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve resulting in visual field loss, and remains a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.Since the disease is generally progressive, early detection and treatment to control the progression are crucial, and lowering IOP is the most effective means of avoiding damage to the optic nerve. The estimated number of patients globally in 2020 was 76 million, and it is expected to increase to 95 million by 2030.3 Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. Ocular hypertension, which affects millions, can lead to glaucoma and vision loss if untreated.4

“Treatments that focus on IOP reduction help to slow or prevent further loss of vision for those with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. However, not all patients respond to the same treatments, and some may not have successful outcomes,” said Jason Bacharach, MD, Medical and Research Director at North Bay Eye Associates, Inc. “The approval of omidenepag isopropyl ophthalmic solution 0.002% provides doctors with another safe and effective option to use when treating patients with these sight-threatening conditions.”

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omidenepag

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

FDA Approves Iheezo (chloroprocaine hydrochloride ophthalmic gel) for Ocular Surface Anesthesia







Harrow (Nasdaq: HROW), an eyecare pharmaceutical company exclusively focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative ophthalmic therapies, and Sintetica, S.A., a growing pharmaceutical company focused on analgesics, local anesthetics, and sterile injectable solutions,  announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Iheezo (chloroprocaine hydrochloride ophthalmic gel) 3% for ocular surface anesthesia. Iheezo is a sterile, single-patient‑use, physician‑administered, ophthalmic gel preparation, containing no preservatives, that is safe and effective for ocular surface anesthesia. Iheezo represents the first approved use in the U.S. ophthalmic market of chloroprocaine hydrochloride and the first branded ocular anesthetic approved for the U.S. ophthalmic market in nearly 14 years. Iheezo is protected by an Orange Book-listed patent that is valid until 2038.

“On behalf of all our ophthalmic physician partners and the patients they serve, we and our partners at Sintetica are grateful to the FDA for a New Drug Application (NDA) review process that resulted in the approval of Iheezo in advance of our PDUFA target action date,” said Mark L. Baum, Harrow Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We have always believed in the unique clinical value of Iheezo, and now that Iheezo is approved for use in the U.S. market, it has the potential to become an indispensable premium tool for eyecare professionals and their patients requiring ocular surface anesthesia.”

Nicola Caronzolo, Sintetica Chief Executive Officer, added, “I am particularly proud of this important milestone, which exemplifies the quality of Sintetica’s research and development groups and our ability to innovate – to be a global pharmaceuticals leader. I want to give special thanks to our regulatory group, who while working with the Harrow team, performed extraordinarily well, resulting in this early U.S. market approval for this important new medicine.”

The safety and efficacy of Iheezo were demonstrated in three human clinical studies. Studies 1 and 2 were randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies that evaluated the effect of Iheezo on healthy volunteers, and Study 3 was a randomized, prospective, multi-center, active-controlled, observer‑masked study that evaluated the administration of Iheezo in patients undergoing cataract surgery. Study 3 marks the first time a U.S. drug candidate was studied in a surgical model for FDA approval in the ocular surface anesthesia category. This study demonstrated that Iheezo not only worked rapidly (about 1 to 1.5 minutes) and provided sufficient anesthesia to successfully perform the surgical procedure (on average lasting 22 minutes), but importantly, no patient dosed with Iheezo required a supplemental treatment to complete the surgical procedure.

According to a September 2021 report by Market Scope, there are an estimated 4.5 million cataract surgeries and over 8 million intravitreal injections performed annually in the U.S., all of which typically utilize some form of ocular surface anesthesia.

Baum continued, “Harrow currently provides perioperative medications for a significant number of the U.S. ophthalmic surgical procedures. We believe our customer base of more than 10,000 ophthalmologists, optometrists, retina specialists, outpatient hospital facilities, and ambulatory surgery centers will appreciate the unique clinical value and practice efficiency Iheezo offers, including its single‑use packaging format, which according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), decreases the risk of infection and medication errors associated with the use of communal eye drops.

“We have been planning for the commercial launch of Iheezo for over a year, and with our national market access and sales organization already in place, we are 100% ready. Given our earlier FDA approval date, we have accelerated our market access strategy to support a commercial launch date slightly ahead of our previously planned launch at the May 2023 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) meeting in San Diego, CA.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloroprocaine


FDA Approves Iheezo (chloroprocaine hydrochloride ophthalmic gel) for Ocular Surface Anesthesia

Monday, November 14, 2022

FDA Approves Relyvrio (sodium phenylbutyrate/taurursodiol) for Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)


In continuation of my update on phenyl butyrate and taurursodiol..
Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMLX) (“Amylyx” or the “Company”)   announced  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)   approval of Relyvrio (sodium phenylbutyrate and taurursodiol) for the treatment of adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Relyvrio (previously known as AMX0035 in the U.S.) significantly slowed the loss of physical function in people living with ALS in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Relyvrio can be taken as a monotherapy or with existing approved treatments.

“Today’s FDA approval of Relyvrio is an exciting milestone for the ALS community and is a major step toward achieving our mission to one day end the suffering caused by neurodegenerative diseases,” said Joshua Cohen and Justin Klee, Co-CEOs of Amylyx. “We want to give a heartfelt thank you to the broader ALS community, including healthcare professionals and those living with ALS, for their guidance, support of our clinical programs, and for sharing their experiences with us. Their stories inspired us and helped our team to better understand the ALS clock, instilling in us a deep sense of urgency that will continue to drive us forward. This is just the beginning and there is much more to be done.”
ALS is a relentlessly progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by motor neuron death in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neuron loss in ALS leads to deteriorating muscle function, the inability to move and speak, respiratory paralysis and eventually, death. More than 90% of people with ALS have sporadic disease, showing no clear family history. ALS affects approximately 29,000 people in the U.S.

Leading U.S. ALS advocacy organizations including The ALS Association, Answer ALS Foundation, I AM ALS, Les Turner ALS Foundation and Team Gleason said in a statement, “Our organizations have been on a mission to create a world free of ALS. With today’s approval, we are encouraged that Relyvrio can offer people living with ALS and their families the potential of more time with functional independence. This is especially important for a rapidly progressive disease with a median survival time from diagnosis of just two to three years. This is significant for people living with ALS, their loved ones, caregivers, clinicians, researchers, and advocacy, as we now have a new treatment option that could be a big step forward for the future of ALS care.”

The approval of Relyvrio is based on data from CENTAUR, a multicenter Phase 2 clinical trial in 137 participants with ALS encompassing a 6-month randomized, placebo-controlled phase and an open-label extension (OLE) long-term follow-up phase. Detailed data from CENTAUR were published in the New England Journal of MedicineMuscle & Nerve, and the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

The most common adverse events occurring with Relyvrio (at least 15% and at least 5% greater than placebo) were diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and upper respiratory tract infection. Gastrointestinal-related adverse reactions occurred throughout the study but were more frequent during the first three weeks of treatment.

“Any time we have a new tool to slow the progression of this disease represents an important milestone in how we battle ALS. The published data on both function and survival in a randomized trial – and what this means for people living with ALS – are a step forward for the ALS community,” said Sabrina Paganoni, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the CENTAUR trial, investigator at the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.


FDA Approves Relyvrio (sodium phenylbutyrate/taurursodiol) for Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Saturday, November 12, 2022

FDA Approves Lytgobi (futibatinib) for Previously Treated, Unresectable, Locally Advanced or Metastatic Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma


Taiho Oncology, Inc. and Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Lytgobi tablets for the treatment of adult patients with previously treated, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) harboring fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) gene fusions or other rearrangements.

This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial(s).

“Lytgobi is an effective, well-tolerated therapy for patients with intrahepatic CCA that can be taken orally,” said Tim Whitten, President and CEO of Taiho Oncology, Inc. “This approval is an important milestone for patients and may provide hope for improved outcomes. As someone whose family has been impacted by cholangiocarcinoma, I’m acutely aware of the impact this disease can have on the patient and their loved ones.”

As a whole, cholangiocarcinoma is an aggressive cancer of the bile ducts and is diagnosed in approximately 8,000 individuals each year in the U.S.1 This includes both intrahepatic (inside the liver) and extrahepatic (outside the liver) forms of the disease. Approximately 20% of patients diagnosed with CCA have the intrahepatic form of the disease.2,3 Within this 20%, approximately 10-16% of patients have FGFR2 gene rearrangements, including fusions, which promote tumor proliferation.4,5,6,7,8 Lytgobi covalently binds to FGFR2 and inhibits the signaling pathway.9 The other approved FGFR inhibitors are reversible ATP-competitive inhibitors.10,11,12

“Lytgobi is a key example of the potential of precision medicine in iCCA and represents another advance in the treatment of this rare and challenging disease,” said medical oncologist Lipika Goyal, MD, MPhil, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and lead investigator of the pivotal study that led to the approval of Lytgobi. “I am encouraged that treatment options continue to expand and evolve for this disease through the dedicated efforts of many over several years.”

The approval of Lytgobi is based on the results of the primary analysis of the FOENIX*-CCA2 trial, a global Phase 2 open-label trial evaluating 103 patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic iCCA harboring FGFR2 gene rearrangements including fusions. In this trial, patients received Lytgobi orally once daily at a dose of 20mg until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

The trial met its primary endpoint with an objective response rate of 42% as measured by independent central review. The median duration of response (DOR) was 9.7 months, with 72% of responses lasting at least six months. The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions were nail toxicity, musculoskeletal pain, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, dry mouth, alopecia, stomatitis, dry skin, arthralgia, dysgeusia, abdominal pain, dry eye, nausea, decreased appetite, urinary tract infection, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, and vomiting.

Lytgobi was discovered by Taiho Oncology’s parent company, Taiho Pharmaceutical, which continues to co-develop this product for other potential tumor types. “The Taiho group is working as one to optimize this agent for the patients who are waiting,” said Teruhiro Utsugi, Senior Managing Director at Taiho Pharmaceutical.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futibatinib

Friday, November 11, 2022

FDA Approves Furoscix (furosemide injection) for the At-Home Treatment of Congestion Due to Fluid Overload in Chronic Heart Failure



scPharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: SCPH), a pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products that have the potential to optimize the delivery of infused therapies, advance patient care, and reduce healthcare costs,  announced   the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)   approval of  Furoscix (furosemide injection), a proprietary formulation of furosemide delivered via an On-Body Infusor for the treatment of congestion due to fluid overload in adults with New York Heart Association Class II/III chronic heart failure. Furoscix is not indicated for emergency situations or in patients with acute pulmonary edema. Furoscix Infusor will deliver only an 80-mg dose. Furoscix is the first and only FDA-approved subcutaneous loop diuretic that delivers IV equivalent diuresis at home via the Furoscix Infusor.

“Congestion due to worsening heart failure is one of the most common causes of hospital admissions in patients over 65, and today’s approval of Furoscix represents an important treatment advancement for the over seven million heart failure patients in the U.S. that will be able to self-administer IV equivalent diuresis at home,” said John Tucker, President and Chief Executive Officer of scPharmaceuticals. “We are preparing to optimize commercialization efforts to offer Furoscix to patients in the first quarter of next year with the goal of driving rapid patient adoption to meet the needs of the $5.9 billion addressable market in the U.S.”

IV equivalence was established in a clinical study in which Furoscix demonstrated 99.6% bioavailability (90% CI: 94.8%-104.8%) and 8-hour urine output of 2.7 L which was similar to subjects receiving intravenous furosemide. Furoscix is not indicated for use in emergency situations or in patients with acute pulmonary edema. The On-Body Infusor will deliver only an 80-mg dose of Furoscix.

“As we move towards commercialization, we have compiled a body of evidence demonstrating the value proposition of Furoscix across healthcare stakeholders,” said John Mohr, Pharm.D., Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs of scPharmaceuticals. “The totality of clinical and pharmacoeconomic data that we have generated to date supports an opportunity to shift the treatment paradigm of how heart failure patients with congestion are treated and has the potential to become a new standard of care.”

Furoscix enables subcutaneous administration at home by the patient or a caregiver with the use of the Furoscix On-Body Infusor. The On-Body Infusor for Furoscix was developed utilizing West Pharmaceutical Services’ proprietary SmartDose®1 On-Body Drug Delivery technology. Once the pre-filled cartridge is inserted into the pre-programmed single-use On-Body Infusor for Furoscix and attached to the abdomen, the device is activated with the press of a button to deliver an 80-mg dose over five hours.

“This marks a tremendous opportunity to improve the at-home management of worsening congestion in patients with heart failure who display reduced responsiveness to oral diuretics and require administration of intravenous diuretics, which typically requires admission to the hospital,” said William T. Abraham, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine (Cardiology), Physiology and Cell Biology and College of Medicine Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University and scPharmaceuticals Board member. “The FDA’s approval of Furoscix is significant and will allow patients to be treated outside of the hospital setting, and I look forward to incorporating it into my own practice as quickly as possible.”

Furoscix® is indicated for the treatment of congestion due to fluid overload in adult patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II and Class III chronic heart failure.

Furoscix is not indicated for use in emergency situations or in patients with acute pulmonary edema. The On-Body Infusor will deliver only an 80-mg dose of Furoscix.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furosemide

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

BioLineRx Announces Submission of New Drug Application (NDA) to FDA for Motixafortide in Stem Cell Mobilization

BioLineRx Ltd.  announced the  submission of  its New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Motixafortide in stem cell mobilization (SCM) for autologous bone marrow transplantation for multiple myeloma patients.

The NDA submission is based on the overwhelmingly positive top-line results from BioLineRx's GENESIS Phase 3 trial of Motixafortide on top of G-CSF (versus placebo on top of G-CSF) in stem cell mobilization for autologous bone marrow transplantation in multiple myeloma patients. The study met all primary and secondary endpoints with a very high degree of statistical significance (p<0.0001). The combination was also found to be safe and well tolerated.

"The submission of our first NDA is a significant milestone for our Company and gives us potential line of sight towards launching a product that we successfully developed for an indication in substantial need of more effective treatment options," stated Philip Serlin, Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx. "Notably, ~90% of multiple myeloma patients in the GENESIS study went directly to transplantation after mobilizing the optimal number of stem cells following only one administration of Motixafortide and in only one apheresis session, compared to less than 10% of those receiving G-CSF alone. This high success rate has a substantial clinical benefit, especially when considering that new induction treatments are more effective than ever before but cause subsequent difficulty in mobilizing the target number of stem cells for transplantation. The high success rate may also confer significant benefits to transplant institutions through the more efficient use of apheresis units, where there is often a lack of available machines."

"The totality of data that we have compiled for Motixafortide in stem cell mobilization – both clinical and pharmacoeconomic – suggest that Motixafortide, if approved, can quickly become the key component of a new standard of care on top of G-CSF for all multiple myeloma patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation. The submission of our NDA brings us one critical step closer to that goal, and we look forward to working closely with the FDA during its review process," Mr. Serlin concluded.



The FDA's decision on acceptance of BioLineRx's NDA filing is expected in November. Assuming the filing is accepted, the potential PDUFA date would be in Q2 2023 (under a priority review process, if applicable) or Q3 2023 (under a standard review process). As BioLineRx finalizes its commercialization plans for Motixafortide in the U.S., the Company continues to advance critical pre-launch activities, required under any commercialization scenario, to ensure a robust and targeted commercial launch very soon after its PDUFA date, assuming FDA approval.

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Motixafortide
https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB14939

Monday, October 10, 2022

Cidara Therapeutics Announces FDA Acceptance for Priority Review of New Drug Application for Rezafungin for the Treatment of Candidemia and Invasive Candidiasis




Cidara Therapeutics, Inc.  , a biotechnology company developing long-acting therapeutics designed to improve the standard of care for patients facing serious diseases,  announced   the  FDA acceptance for filing and granted Priority Review to its New Drug Application (NDA) for rezafungin for the treatment of candidemia and invasive candidiasis. The FDA has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date of March 22, 2023 enabled by rezafungin’s designation as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) and has indicated that it is currently planning to hold an advisory committee meeting to discuss the application. QIDP designation is reserved for antibacterial and antifungal drug candidates intended to treat serious or life-threatening infections. Rezafungin is a novel, once-weekly echinocandin antifungal being developed for the treatment of candidemia and invasive candidiasis, as well as for the prophylaxis of invasive fungal infections in patients undergoing allogeneic blood and marrow transplant.

“Today’s announcement is an important step forward for patients fighting difficult-to-treat and often deadly candidemia and invasive candidiasis, and represents a critical milestone for Cidara’s rezafungin development program,” said Jeff Stein, President, and CEO of Cidara Therapeutics. “The data generated across our Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials demonstrated that rezafungin could transform the current standard of care for the treatment of invasive Candida infections, and we are excited that rezafungin could potentially be the first new drug approved for this indication in over a decade.”

The NDA submission for rezafungin was supported by positive clinical data from the global ReSTORE Phase 3 and STRIVE Phase 2 clinical trials. Rezafungin dosed once-weekly demonstrated statistical non-inferiority versus caspofungin, the current standard of care, dosed once-daily, meeting the primary endpoints for both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Cidara retains the rights to rezafungin in Japan and has licensed the commercial rights to Melinta Therapeutics in the U.S. and Mundipharma Medical in all other geographies.

About Rezafungin
Rezafungin is a novel once-weekly echinocandin being developed for both the treatment and prevention of serious fungal infections, such as candidemia and invasive candidiasis. The structure and properties of rezafungin are specifically designed to improve upon a clinically validated mechanism intended to enhance its efficacy and safety potential for patients. Cidara has completed a Phase 3 clinical trial with rezafungin for the first-line treatment of candidemia and/or invasive candidiasis (ReSTORE trial) and is currently conducting a second Phase 3 clinical trial of rezafungin for the prevention of invasive fungal disease in patients undergoing allogeneic blood and marrow transplantation (ReSPECT trial). Rezafungin has been designated a QIDP with Fast Track status by the FDA, and has been granted Orphan Drug Designation for its use in the treatment of invasive candidiasis in both the U.S. and EU.


Friday, October 7, 2022

Specific sequence of drugs reduces cost of treating metastatic breast cancer while preserving quality of life

The researchers developed three different computer models to predict how a hypothetical set of 10,000 patients with specific types of metastatic breast cancer would respond to different sequences and types of chemotherapy. For this study, the patient's cancer was either no longer responding to hormone therapies (endocrine resistant) or was a type of the disease called triple-negative breast cancer.

Currently, there are many chemotherapy choices to treat metastatic breast cancer. Oncologists have some preferences of which drugs to use early in treatment, but there is little clear evidence on the best order in which to give the drugs. The researchers consulted oncologists and experts in the field to choose which chemotherapy drugs were preferred choices to include in the study.

Mimicking clinical practice, and based upon existing data, the researchers then assumed that if a person started treatment with one drug, they would change to a second-choice treatment after their cancer stopped responding to the first drug, or if the side effects weren't tolerable. The purpose of the study was to test whether putting the drugs in one sequence compared to another could keep the patient on treatment for similar times while decreasing their side effect and/or cost burden.

"The cost of cancer drugs in the U.S. has rapidly increased, even for generics. As a society, we urgently need more strategies to reduce cancer drug costs without compromising outcomes, and our analysis provides quantifiable evidence to help providers choose lower priced, but equally effective sequences of drugs," said Stephanie B. Wheeler, PhD, MPH, professor of health policy & management at UNC Gillings and associate director of community outreach and engagement at UNC Lineberger and corresponding author of the article. "More spending on cancer care does not necessarily confer greater health benefits."

The costs calculated in this study were inclusive of medical and nonmedical costs borne by patients, including lost productivity. In this simulation, after two years, nearly all women would have completed the first three sets of treatment, but the cancer would cause the death of about one-third of the women. Productivity days lost due to sickness were similar across chemotherapy sequences, so most of the cost difference was due to drug savings. In the simulation, patients were placed in three groups, depending on what treatments they had already received for earlier episodes of breast cancer.

Outcomes in the three groups were:

  • For people who had not previously received the common chemotherapy drug categories, including a taxane (e.g., paclitaxel) or an anthracycline (e.g., capecitabine), treatment with paclitaxel then capecitabine followed by doxorubicin corresponded to the highest expected gains in quality of life and lowest costs.
  • For people who had previously received a taxane and an anthracycline drug, treatment with carboplatin, followed by capecitabine, followed by eribulin, corresponded to the highest expected gains in quality of life and lowest costs.
  • For people who had previously received a taxane but not an anthracycline, treatment sequences beginning with capecitabine or doxorubicin, followed by eribulin, were most cost-effective.

"The drugs we studied are already recommended and reimbursed for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, but the optimal sequencing of them has been unclear, which has led to considerable variation in physician preference and practice. Our study suggests that treatment sequencing approaches that minimize costs early may improve the value of care," Wheeler said. "The implications of this study are fairly straightforward for medical oncologists and those developing value-based clinical pathways to implement in practice now."

UNC Lineberger's Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, MD, MBA, MSc, section chief of breast oncology and associate professor of medicine at UNC School of Medicine and one of the study's authors, said the treatment choices for metastatic breast cancer are constantly changing, and new options for targeted therapy have emerged even since this study was conducted. "Many oncologists and patients find that there aren't any more targeted therapies that fit the cancer's molecular profiles, so they are left with the choice of a number of chemotherapy drugs that may feel pretty similar or have an unclear balance of pros and cons.

"In that scenario, I hope our study will help expand the framework that we use to make these decisions from one where we just think about the biologic action of the drug to one where we also consider the bigger picture of what the treatment experience is like for the patient, including their financial burden, investment of time, and side effects," Reeder-Hayes added. "The most potent drug isn't always the next best choice depending on what the patient values and wants to accomplish with their treatment."

Looking ahead, the researchers have developed a financial navigation program to further support patients in managing the out-of-pocket costs of their cancer care. This program has been effective and well received by patients, caregivers and providers. The team is currently scaling up the intervention in nine rural and non-rural oncology practices across North Carolina to understand how well it works in different care settings. Cancer patients who need financial support managing the cost of their cancer care are being recruited for this undertaking.

Ref : https://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/JCO.21.02473

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Drug turns cancer gene into 'eat me' flag for immune system




Sotorasib

The new therapy, described Sept. 12 in Cell Cancer, pulls a mutated version of the protein KRAS to the surface of cancer cells, where the drug-KRAS complex acts as an "eat me" flag. Then, an immunotherapy can coax the immune system to effectively eliminate all cells bearing this flag.

"The immune system already has the potential to recognize mutated KRAS, but it usually can't find it very well. When we put this marker on the protein, it becomes much easier for the immune system," said UCSF chemist and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Kevan Shokat, PhD, who helped lead the new work.

KRAS mutations are found in about one quarter of all tumors, making them one of the most common gene mutations in cancer. Mutated KRAS is also the target of sotorasib, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given preliminary approval for use in lung cancer, and the two approaches may eventually work well in combination.

"It's exciting to have a new strategy leveraging the immune system that we can combine with targeted KRAS drugs," said Charles Craik, PhD, a lead study author and professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF. "We suspect that this could lead to deeper and longer responses for cancer patients."

Turning Cancer Markers Inside Out

The immune system typically recognizes foreign cells because of unusual proteins that jut out of their surfaces. But when it comes to cancer cells, there are few unique proteins found on their outsides. Instead, most proteins that differentiate tumor cells from healthy cells are inside the cells, where the immune system can't detect them.

For many years, KRAS -- despite how common it is in cancers -- was considered undruggable. The mutated version of KRAS, which drives the growth of tumor cells, operates inside cells. It often has only one small change that differentiates it from normal KRAS and doesn't have a readily visible spot on its structure for a drug to bind. But over recent decades, Shokat carried out detailed analyses of the protein and discovered a hidden pocket in mutated KRAS that a drug could block. His work contributed to the development and approval of sotorasib.

Sotorasib, however, doesn't help all patients with KRAS mutations, and some of the tumors it does shrink become resistant and start growing again. Shokat, Craik and their colleagues wondered whether there was another way to target KRAS.

In the new work, the team shows that when ARS1620 -- a targeted KRAS drug similar to sotorasib -- binds to mutated KRAS, it doesn't just block KRAS from effecting tumor growth. It also coaxes the cell to recognize the ARS1620-KRAS complex as a foreign molecule.

"This mutated protein is usually flying under the radar because it's so similar to the healthy protein," says Craik. "But when you attach this drug to it, it gets spotted right away."

That means the cell processes the protein and moves it to its surface, as a signal to the immune system. The KRAS that was once hidden inside is now displayed as an "eat me" flag on the outside of the tumor cells.

A Promising Immunotherapy

With the shift of mutated KRAS from the inside to the outside of cells, the UCSF team was next able to screen a library of billions of human antibodies to identify those that could now recognize this KRAS flag. The researchers showed with studies on both isolated protein and human cells that the most promising antibody they had identified could bind tightly to the drug ARS1620 as well as the ARS1620-KRAS complex.

Then, the group engineered an immunotherapy around that antibody, coaxing the immune system's T cells to recognize the KRAS flag and target cells for destruction. They found that the new immunotherapy could kill tumor cells that had the mutated KRAS and were treated with ARS1620, including those that had already developed resistance to ARS1620.

"What we've shown here is proof of principle that a cell resistant to current drugs can be killed by our strategy," says Shokat.

More work is needed in animals and humans before the treatment could be used clinically.

The researchers say that the new approach could pave the way not only for combination treatments in cancers with KRAS mutations, but also other similar pairings of targeted drugs with immunotherapies.

"This is a platform technology," says Craik. "We'd like to go after other targets that might also move molecules to the cell surface and make them amenable to immunotherapy."

Ref : 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6965201/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotorasib

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Smoking May Increase Odds of Meniere Disease in Men





For men, smoking is positively related and alcohol consumption is negatively related to the risk for Meniere disease (MD), according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

So Young Kim, Ph.D., from the CHA University in Seongnam, South Korea, and colleagues examined the association of smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity with MD among the population older than 40 years of age in the Korean National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening Cohort from 2002 to 2019. A total of 15,208 MD patients were matched with 499,658 controls.

The researchers found that in the overall adult population, there was no association for smoking and alcohol consumption with MD. The odds of MD were lower in association with being underweight (adjusted odds ratio, 0.80; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 0.93; P = 0.004). Smoking was positively associated with MD in men, while there was a negative association observed for alcohol consumption with MD (adjusted odds ratios, 1.08 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.17; P = 0.043] and 0.87 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 0.94; P < 0.001], respectively).

"The current study improved previous knowledge on the associated factors of MD by concurrently assessing multiple lifestyle factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity," the authors write. "As these are modifiable factors, lifestyle modifications can be clinically valuable management strategies for patients who suffer from MD."


Ref : For men, smoking is positively related and alcohol consumption is negatively related to the risk for Meniere disease (MD), according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

So Young Kim, Ph.D., from the CHA University in Seongnam, South Korea, and colleagues examined the association of smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity with MD among the population older than 40 years of age in the Korean National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening Cohort from 2002 to 2019. A total of 15,208 MD patients were matched with 499,658 controls.

The researchers found that in the overall adult population, there was no association for smoking and alcohol consumption with MD. The odds of MD were lower in association with being underweight (adjusted odds ratio, 0.80; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 0.93; P = 0.004). Smoking was positively associated with MD in men, while there was a negative association observed for alcohol consumption with MD (adjusted odds ratios, 1.08 [95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.17; P = 0.043] and 0.87 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 0.94; P < 0.001], respectively).

"The current study improved previous knowledge on the associated factors of MD by concurrently assessing multiple lifestyle factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity," the authors write. "As these are modifiable factors, lifestyle modifications can be clinically valuable management strategies for patients who suffer from MD."


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Daily Multivitamin May Protect Against Cognitive Decline in Older Adults



In continuation of my update on Vitamin and their importance 

A daily multivitamin may provide cognitive benefits for older adults, according to a study published online Sept. 14 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Laura D. Baker, Ph.D., from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues assessed whether daily use of cocoa extract (containing 500 mg/day flavanols) versus placebo and a commercial multivitamin-mineral (MVM) versus placebo improved cognition in 2,262 older women and men (mean age, 73 years).

The researchers found that cocoa extract had no effect on global cognition. However, compared with placebo, daily MVM supplementation resulted in a statistically significant benefit on global cognition, with a more pronounced effect seen in participants with a history of cardiovascular disease. Benefits of MVM were also seen for memory and executive function. There were no significant interactions observed between cocoa extract and MVM for any of the cognitive composites.

"Our study showed that although cocoa extract did not affect cognition, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement. This is the first evidence of cognitive benefit in a large longer-term study of multivitamin supplementation in older adults," Baker said in a statement. "It's too early to recommend daily multivitamin supplementation to prevent cognitive decline. While these preliminary findings are promising, additional research is needed in a larger and more diverse group of people."

Monday, October 3, 2022

FDA Approves Zoryve (roflumilast) Cream for the Treatment of Plaque Psoriasis

 

Roflumilast structure.svg 

 

Arcutis Biotherapeutics, Inc.   an early commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing meaningful innovations in immuno-dermatology, announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)   approval of the  the New Drug Application (NDA) for Zoryve (roflumilast) cream 0.3% for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, including intertriginous areas, in patients 12 years of age or older. The first and only topical phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitor approved for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, Zoryve provides rapid clearance of psoriasis plaques and reduces itch in all affected areas of the body. Zoryve — a once-daily, steroid-free cream in a safe and well tolerated, patient-friendly formulation — is uniquely formulated to simplify disease management for people living with plaque psoriasis.

“Today Arcutis has reached a major milestone, with our ability to offer this next generation topical PDE4 inhibitor to both adults and adolescents with plaque psoriasis. Zoryve’s combination of efficacy, safety, and tolerability, coupled with our proprietary HydroARQ Technology formulation, is designed to fit into patients’ everyday lives with no restrictions on duration of use,” said Frank Watanabe, President and CEO of Arcutis. “Additionally, Zoryve has been shown to rapidly clear plaques and reduce itch across all areas of the body. Zoryve is the only topical for which data focused on the treatment of intertriginous plaques — a common area affected by plaque psoriasis — have been specifically generated. This FDA approval is the fruition of our efforts, and we are excited to launch Zoryve, with expected product availability by mid-August.”

Topical therapies remain the primary treatment option for the vast majority of individuals with plaque psoriasis, a common immune-mediated skin disease that affects approximately nine million people in the U.S. and is the most frequent type of psoriasis occurring in both adults and adolescents. Severity can range between mild, moderate, and severe, with itch being the most burdensome and frequently reported symptom.

While the disease may affect any area of the body, plaques in certain areas, like the face, elbows and knees, genitalia, and intertriginous areas (areas of skin-to-skin contact), present unique treatment challenges. As a result, individuals with psoriasis are often prescribed multiple topical medications for different areas, which makes for a complicated treatment regimen.

“In multiple clinical trials, Zoryve was proven to be safe and effective, with improvements in disease clearance in hard-to-treat areas like knees and elbows, as well as in sensitive areas such as the face, genitalia, and intertriginous areas. Zoryve is very well tolerated, which is an important consideration for treating a chronic skin disease such as plaque psoriasis,” said Mark Lebwohl M.D., FAAD, principal investigator and Dean for Clinical Therapeutics and Chairman Emeritus of the Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “With this FDA approval, adults and adolescents with psoriasis and their dermatologists have a new steroid-free treatment option for use on all affected areas of the body.”

Zoryve features HydroARQ Technology™, a proprietary drug delivery formulation that creates a non-greasy moisturizing cream that spreads easily and absorbs quickly.

“Plaque psoriasis is a challenging disease and finding the right treatment option can be complicated, especially if individuals have to use multiple treatments for different parts of their body. We welcome a new treatment option that can make a meaningful difference for adults and adolescents with plaque psoriasis,” says Leah M. Howard, President and CEO of the National Psoriasis Foundation. “Our hope is that new treatments translate into improved outcomes and help alleviate the burdens of chronic disease for people impacted by psoriasis.”

Arcutis intends to make Zoryve widely available via key wholesaler and national dermatology pharmacy channels as a new treatment option by mid-August, and the Company is dedicated to affordable access to therapy. The Zoryve Direct patient support program will help commercially insured individuals with plaque psoriasis get access and start Zoryve treatment as prescribed by their healthcare provider quickly and easily by helping them navigate the payer process, lowering the out-of-pocket cost for eligible patients, and offering programs that support staying on therapy.Arcutis will also offer the Arcutis Cares patient assistance program (PAP) – the first of its kind for a topical psoriasis treatment – that will provide Zoryve at no cost for financially eligible patients who are uninsured or underinsured.

With this approval, Arcutis has access to, and plans to draw, an additional $125 million tranche as part of the Company’s non-dilutive financing agreement with SLR Capital Partners. Combined with the Company’s cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities as of June 30, 2022, this additional $125 million will provide for capital resources of over $400 million to support the launch and commercialization efforts for Zoryve, as well as continue to advance the Company’s pipeline development initiatives.

 

 Ref : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roflumilast

Friday, September 30, 2022

FDA Approves Auvelity (dextromethorphan and bupropion) for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in Adults

 

 Dextromethorphan.svg       

dextromethorphan

Skeletal formula of bupropion 

Bupropion

In continuation of my updates on dextromethorphan and Bupropion

Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company developing and delivering novel therapies for the management of central nervous system (CNS) disorders,  announced  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  approval of  Auvelity (dextromethorphan HBr -bupropion HCl) extended-release tablets for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.1 Auvelity is the first and only rapid-acting oral medicine approved for the treatment of MDD with labeling of statistically significant antidepressant efficacy compared to placebo starting at one week.  The rapid antidepressant effects of Auvelity were sustained at all subsequent timepoints. Auvelity is the first and only oral N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist approved for the treatment of MDD.  Axsome anticipates Auvelity to be commercially available in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Maurizio Fava, MD, Psychiatrist-In-Chief, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Executive Director, Clinical Trials Network & Institute, Associate Dean for Clinical & Translational Research, and Slater Family Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School said, “The approval of Auvelity represents a milestone in depression treatment based on its novel oral NMDA antagonist mechanism, its rapid antidepressant efficacy demonstrated in controlled trials, and a relatively favorable safety profile. Auvelity, which was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA, represents the first new oral non-monoamine-based mechanism of action approved to treat major depressive disorder in over sixty years. Nearly two thirds of patients treated with currently available antidepressants do not adequately respond, and those that do may not achieve clinically meaningful responses for up to six to eight weeks. Given the debilitating nature of depression, the efficacy of Auvelity observed at one week and sustained thereafter may have a significant impact on the current treatment paradigm for this condition.”

Michael Pollock, Chief Executive Officer of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), a leading national patient advocacy organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder said, “The mental health crisis in the United States is one of the most pressing health issues facing our country today. Over 20 million American adults experienced major depressive disorder each year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. These numbers increased dramatically during the pandemic with approximately thirty percent of adults in the U.S. or more than 80 million Americans experiencing elevated symptoms of depression. The need for new treatment options, particularly those with new mechanisms of action, could not be clearer and more urgent for those living with, or impacted by, major depressive disorder.”

Dan V. Iosifescu, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, and Director of the Clinical Research Division at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research said, “Major depressive disorder is disabling and potentially life-threatening, causes profound distress for patients and their families, and leads to substantial healthcare resource utilization. Auvelity’s oral NMDA receptor antagonist and sigma-1 receptor agonist activity, which targets glutamatergic neurotransmission, provides clinicians a long sought after new mechanistic approach which may benefit the millions of patients living with this serious condition. In clinical trials, Auvelity has demonstrated rapid and statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms as early as Week 1, and increased rates of remission at Week 2 compared with placebo. This early benefit with Auvelity was maintained and increased with continued treatment, and was accompanied by a favorable safety and tolerability profile.”

Auvelity was studied in a comprehensive clinical program which included more than 1,100 patients with depression. The efficacy of Auvelity in the treatment of MDD was demonstrated in the GEMINI placebo-controlled study, and confirmatory evidence which included the ASCEND study comparing Auvelity to bupropion sustained-release tablets. In the GEMENI study, Auvelity was statistically significantly superior to placebo in improvement of depressive symptoms as measured by the change in the Montgomery-├ůsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score at Week 6, the study’s primary endpoint. To evaluate speed of onset of action, the change in MADRS total score from baseline to Week 1 and from baseline to Week 2 were pre-specified secondary efficacy endpoints. The difference between Auvelity and placebo in change from baseline in MADRS total score was statistically significant at Week 1 and at Week 2.1 In the ASCEND study, Auvelity was statistically significantly superior to bupropion sustained-release tablets 105 mg twice daily on the primary outcome measure.5 The primary outcome measure of the ASCEND study was calculated by assessing the change from baseline in MADRS total scores from Week 1 to Week 6 and then taking the average of those scores.1 In the placebo-controlled clinical study, the most common (incidence ≥5% for Auvelity and more than twice as frequently as placebo) adverse reactions were dizziness, headache, diarrhea, somnolence, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, and hyperhidrosis.1

The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for Auvelity for the treatment of MDD in March 2019. This designation is granted to candidate drugs that show potential for benefit above that of available therapies based on preliminary clinical data, and it provides the sponsor with added focus from and greater interactions with FDA staff during the development of the candidate drug.6 The Auvelity New Drug Application (NDA) was evaluated by the FDA under Priority Review, which is granted by the FDA to applications for medicines that, if approved, would provide significant improvements in the effectiveness or safety of the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of serious conditions when compared to standard applications.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bupropion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dextromethorphan

 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

FDA Approves Konvomep (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate for oral suspension) for Gastric Ulcer and Reduction of Risk of Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Critically Ill Patients

 

Omeprazole.svg

 

 In continuation of my update on omeprazole

Azurity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative dose-forms and formulations of products to serve the needs of overlooked patients, announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)   approval of  Konvomep (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate for oral suspension). Konvomep is approved for the treatment of active benign gastric ulcer and reduction of risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients.

“We are very pleased that patients will soon have access to this FDA-approved oral liquid formulation option of a commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitor1,” said Richard Blackburn, CEO of Azurity Pharmaceuticals. “Patients are our priority, and our purpose is to bring them new formulations that help them benefit from established medicines. Konvomep™ may give patients, particularly patients with difficulty swallowing pills or capsules, an option for treatment tailored to their needs.”

“Patients who struggle with taking solid oral dosage forms may be overlooked and have historically had limited FDA-approved treatment options available as liquid formulations,” said Olga Hilas, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, BCGP, Professor, Clinical Health Professions, St. John’s University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Queens, New York.

 

Ref : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omeprazole